The portrait of Tebow, made from more than 46,000 Airsoft BB’s, was created by Gainesville artist John O'Hearn . The mosaic measures approximately 4 feet by 6 feet and contains 227 tubes. Each tube contains 204 BB’s for a grand total of 46,308 tiny plastic balls.
O’Hearn, a grad student in the arts program at the University of Florida , says he can recreate any picture or portrait from just 5 colors of BB’s – red, green, blue, black and white – a challenge when your subject is wearing Gator orange. Red BB’s are used in the helmet, but O’Hearn mixes them with green and white BB’s to make the Florida orange.
Tebow joins an exclusive list of unique celebrity portraits that hang in Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Museums worldwide, including President Obama, Michael Jackson and Dean Cain all made from gumballs, Eminem made from M&M’s, Princess Diana made from dryer lint and Madonna made from junk mail.
The Tebow portrait is available for public viewing in the lobby of the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! museum in Orlando, and will be on display through January 8 – and may become a permanent exhibit in the museum. The portrait can be seen for free, but normal admission is required to tour the museum.
Ripley's Orlando Museum is located at 8201 International Drive. The hours are 9:30 a.m. to midnight daily.